One of the most vital parts of cancer treatment is time, as the earlier a tumour or lesion is discovered, the more treatment options are available for private cancer services to reduce or even remove the cancerous cells from the body.
Cancer, however, is a wide range of different conditions, and because of this, there have developed a lot of misconceptions over the years that can at best cause unnecessary stress and at worse delay potentially life-threatening treatment.
Here are some of the most common myths surrounding cancer and the truth behind them.
Cancer Is Not Contagious
There is a common but untrue assumption that all diseases are contagious, but it must be made clear that there is no way to “catch cancer” from another person with it. That’s simply not how the disease works.
Where this misconception seems to have come from is the cancer risk associated with human papillomavirus (HPV), some variations of which can increase the risk of cancer in some people.
Sometimes Cancer Treatments Can Wait
One of the most difficult concepts is the idea that time can sometimes be on your side after a cancer diagnosis, and the reason for this is based on the first principle of the Hippocratic oath: do no harm.
In some cases, with slow-growing cancers and tumours that do not spread, it can sometimes be better to manage the disease with other, less invasive therapies first, whilst leaving treatment to be a last resort.
The opposite can be true as well; if someone is in the late stages of cancer or facing other diseases, the most appropriate course of treatment can be ensuring that they are free of pain and comfortable.
Treatments can be invasive, and the responsible approach is to ensure that cure does not cause more harm than the disease or does not present more risk than the disease would.
Cancers Can Be Painless
Pain can be a common symptom of cancer but is not always present, with some cancers never causing pain, although pain management is still a vital part of treatment even in cases where there is none.